Okay, historically football has really not been my thing. I love hockey, I hate baseball. Football? Meh. It’s just sort of there.
Well, my sweetie adores football, so I agreed to see a few games with him this season. It’s part of our deal—he’s going to teach me about football and I’m going to teach him about hockey. Granted, we will probably see more football games in person than hockey games, seeing as how he likes college ball (University of Toledo, go Rockets!) and I like pro hockey (let’s go, Red Wings!), and college football tickets are MUCH cheaper than pro hockey tickets. Like, really, really, much cheaper.
So, this past Saturday was UT’s homecoming game, against Eastern Michigan University. Now, EMU was on my short list of schools to attend, and if I had gone there, this could have been an interesting dynamic. But since I didn’t, I don’t have a particular attachment to them, and Toledo and Ypsilanti are about equidistant from my home, so I didn’t feel any qualms about rooting for UT to win. (My joke of the evening was, “Don’t tell anyone I’m from the same state as those guys!”)
This was a homecoming game, so the stands were full of what I called with amused disdain “drunken freshmen howling in the background.” There weren’t any crowd problems or anything, just some people who weren’t making a whole lot of sense in what they were yelling at the players and referees. Well, no, we might have had a crowd problem at one point.
See, I have this problem when watching any sort of sport. I get really pissed off if someone stands up in front of me. I don’t mind people getting up and down, getting to their seats or whatever, but if they stand up and stay there, and I miss an important play? This is not a happy time. So when this crowd of people from a fraternity and sorority came and filed into the row in front of us and stood up ON THEIR SEATS, this was bad. “You make a better door than a window!” I told the boy in front of me. He just looked confused. We moved to a different section.
Ah, that was better. Now I could actually see this game I don’t really understand yet!
I could also see the marching band at halftime. I was a flag twirler in my high school band my senior year, so I feel qualified to say that UT’s marching band is really bad. My inner twirler wanted to run down there and take over the directing—“No! No! You’re offstep and off rhythm! What are you doing????” I didn’t, of course, but the temptation was there.
Meanwhile, as the Rockets were running up the score (30 to 3 final, poor EMU!), it was getting colder. And colder. And colder. I started out wearing jeans and a thermal top, with a fleece jacket. It got colder. I zipped up my jacket. Colder still. I put on my gloves and wrapped my fleece scarf around my neck. Even colder. Okay, I put on my knit hat. And I was still cold! I finally wound up wrapped in the wool blanket we had brought to protect our bottoms from the frozen metal bleachers. My sweetie was just sitting there perfectly comfortable, jacket unzipped. (“Oh, are you cold, my love?” Um, yeah!) So he cuddled me close. Then I was okay. :-)
I wound up having fun. I would jump up and cheer when the Rockets scored, just like all the real fans. I would yell at the refs when they made a boneheaded call. I laughed at the girls who had dressed for fashion instead of warmth and were shivering like crazy. (I’m a meanie, I know!) I cuddled with my sweetie for warmth, and we gave each other kisses between plays.
I think I could get to enjoy this.
But the funny thing is, now I kind of miss my days twirling a flag for the Flat Rock High School marching band. Our team was generally awful, but we could put on one fine halftime show.
Oh well. If I'd tried to twirl while it was that cold, I'd probably have dropped the flag anyway. And that would have just been embarrassing.